A Match for May Day

By - 06th May 2024

After a period of five years, Reigate was pleased to welcome Wimbledon (the croquet section of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club) back to play on our lawn on 1 May. Our aim was to play GC doubles, doubled up on the full lawn, with three rounds in the morning and three more in the afternoon. In all, 12 games; it proved to be an ambitious target.

The lawn was full with two doubles GC games running simultaneously and every game was closely fought and played in a careful, considered, cerebral manner.

Inevitably, there was some standing around waiting for the other game to clear a hoop [photo3], with the mallets being very well-behaved, standing to attention whilst sharing in the wait. In play, however, they were not always so well behaved as their owners would have wished for either side.

But then an excellent lunch – prepared by Freda and featuring crispy duck and gooseberry fool – intervened, as did the weather. Before the alfresco lunch was over, the rain fell and the meal was completed at close quarters with a rather damp table cloth.

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But play resumed and a fourth round of doubles was completed, making eight games in all by the
trime tea and cake appeared.

The final score was 6-2 in favour of RPCC, but any tennis players among our visitors would at least have been familiar with a result like that. It was a little unfair on Wimbledon as their lawns had been closed all winter until the last week of April so it was their first time out this year. Despite the weather, all agreed that it had been a very enjoyable day’s play.